Monday, December 31, 2012

Daybreak Blocking!!

I couldn't think of a better way to spend New Year's Eve then by blocking my Daybreak Shawl between watching movies with Mr. SpiderKate.  Oh! And I'd like to include a quote from my sister who has complained about the lack of mentions about her in my blog, though her quote was more about how she hasn't received any knitted items from me recently - "I was checking out your blog today.  I saw a lot of items being made, none of which came to my home".   My other favorite quote from her is "You can never have enough hand knit items", which was in response to when I asked her if she ever got sick of me knitting things for her.

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Final FO of 2012!

It's my final finished object of 2012!  I'm talking about my Daybreak shawl.  I realized just before Christmas that if I worked on it, then it might be possible to finish it before the end of the year.  Then I realized that the end of the year meant I had less than a week to finish it.  But I was up for the challenge and started knitting away.  Let me just say that some of those final rows were looooong.  Very long.  I may or may not have taken a couple of breaks in the middle of some of the rows.  It all paid off though when I completed that last row!  Though I did postpone doing the bind off until tonight when I really could have done it last night.  Oh well, at least it got done :o)
Yay for being done!!! Okay, almost done :o)
I still have the ends to weave in and it needs to be blocked, but I'm counting it as being done.  I used Ella Rea Lace Merino for my Daybreak in a pink/fuschia color & gray.  I ended up using 58 g (267 yds) of the pink and 73 g of the gray (336 yds).  I knit the medium size, which the pattern said would take 240 yds of color A and 270 yds of color B.  Since I haven't blocked it, I don't know my exact gauge, but I'm probably pretty off since my yarn usage differs from the pattern.  I also modified the edging by adding in those yarn overs, and while they were dropped, that might have slightly affect the amount of yarn used; though the differences in gauge is the real culprit.  I'll post more info about what gauge I got and my final measurements after I get this blocked (which, fingers crossed, I hope to do tomorrow!).

Friday, December 14, 2012

Getting into the Christmas spirit

I'd been feeling kinda blah about Christmas, but then it got cold here.  I mean it finally got cold and my Christmas spirit kicked into high gear, which resulted in Christmas exploding in my living room.  I went out shopping, I got gifts, I wrapped gifts, and I got a couple of packages out in the mail.  I was productive.  It also helped that I realized that I need to have all my Christmas shopping done AND mailed this week.  You see, next week we are traveling to Michigan for Christmas and I knew that if I didn't get things done this week then they were never going to get done.  I only have one more package to mail and at the beginning of the week I had 4, so I'm going to consider this week a success even if I don't get that last package in the mail this week (I definitely will get it out on Monday).

Christmas Explosion
Related to Christmas gifts, Mr. SpiderKate and I had a conversation regarding knitting scarves as gifts for his Aunts that went something like this:

Me: So, what do you want to get for your Aunts for Christmas?
Mr. SpiderKate: You are knitting them the scarves.
Me: No. You said not to knit them anything.  Maybe I could knit them something....if it was quick and easy.
Mr. SpiderKate: Anything with ruffles would be good.

Ah ha! I could knit them each a ruffle scarf that was all the craze awhile back.  Well, they are still a little bit of a craze, but it's calmed down now.  I will confess though - I almost gave up on the first scarf.  It just seemed really hard to get into any sort of rhythm when knitting them.  I persevered and once I was about half way through the first scarf, I got into a rhythm with pulling out the yarn, preparing it for knitting, and then knitting with it.  The first scarf was probably the "hardest" and by the end they were just flying off my needles.

The details:
Ravelry Project Page: Ruffled Scarves
Yarn: Pizzo Lux by Mondial (each scarf took one skein of yarn)
Colors: Various colors (teal/gold, rose/gold, black/gold, & white/gold)
Needles: US 11 (8.00 mm) straight needles (I found that straight needles worked better then using a circular as a straight needle.)
Scarf pattern: CO 8 stitches and knit every row. Bind off when approx. 8 "holes" to end of yarn.  Sometimes I had to fudge the bind off by combining a couple of stitches when I didn't leave enough holes for all 8 stitches to be bound off properly.  For the last stitch I pulled the remaining yarn through the loop and then if I had enough, I tied another small knot - normally I don't do that in knitting, but it seemed like the scarf need the extra knot.  The extra knot isn't noticeable as it gets hidden in all the ruffles.

If you find yourself in need of a very last minute knitted Christmas gift, then definitely give this scarf a try.  It really only takes a couple of hours (or less once you get the hang of it) to knit.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Bulky yarn + big needles = love

I'm not sure how it happened, but November is gone and December is here!  November was pretty busy for me, especially since towards the end of the November I decided that maybe I would knit gifts for Christmas.  Yes, I am that crazy person.  It started with a bulky scarf that I decided to knit for one of my sister-in-laws.  I figured that if I could finish the scarf in a reasonable time, then it wouldn't be that crazy of an idea to knit some Christmas gifts. 

The pattern I used was Lancaster by Kristin Spurkland.  I used the yarn the pattern called for, Baby Chunky by Twinkle/Classic Elite.  Coincidentally, I even used the same color as in the pattern.  I cast on for this project on Nov 18th and cast off on Nov 20th.  It was really that quick.  I'd estimate that maybe it took 5 hours to knit.  Maybe.   I haven't knit a scarf this quickly in FOREVER.  Bulky yarn + big needles might be my new favorite knitting project.   I used all of my skein, which made for a pretty long scarf.  My sister-in-law is tall, so I think it will be a good fit for her. 

There isn't a thing I didn't like about knitting this pattern.  The pattern is well written & easy to memorize.  I was equally impressed with the yarn and found it to be a lot softer than I thought it would be.  I'm fairly sensitive to wool and I think it's even something that I could wear around my neck without too much trouble.  Sadly, I've just gotten around to blocking this tonight, so I don't have any final pictures or measurements yet.  Also, I'm really hoping this doesn't take too long to dry since I need to mail it out this week so that it arrives in time for Christmas!